Studium anglistiky na KAA UPOL

(2.2) New Formalist Poetry


- reacts against the mainstream poetry with its open forms, free verse, and melancholy tone

- revives rhyme, metre, and the tradition of narrative poetry

- pioneers use of the narrative in lyric poems

- aims to win for poetry the status of a popular genre as it supposedly was in the 19th century

- differs from the Academic Formalism in 1950s-60s in abandoning mere display of intellect, irony, and complexity

- resigns at elitism in favour of colloquial language and subjects from popular culture

- unlike the earlier Formalists attracts many women poets who eventually accomplish better poetry than the men

- alternately called Neo-Formalism or Expansive Poetry


(1) 1970s: emerges together with Language Poetry as another alternative to the mainstream workshop lyric

(2) 1980s: reaches its climax

> The Reaper (1980-9): a satirical magazine edited by Mark Jarman and Robert McDowell, uses the satirical mask of the reaper to criticize the dominant free verse poetry

(3) 1990s: becomes assimilated to the mainstream

Dana Gioia (b. 1950)

- a male poet and essayist

> ‘Can Poetry Matter’ (1992): an essay criticizing the decrease of readership in poetry and the mainstream poets

> ‘Money’, ‘Planting a Sequoia’, ‘Unsaid’

Vikram Seth (b.1952)

- of Indian origin

- poet, prose writer, author of travel books

> The Golden Gate (1986): an Onegin-type verse novel, about San Francisco yuppies, became a bestseller

Gjertrud Schnackenberg (b. 1953)

- of Norwegian origin

- considered the best poet of New Formalism

> Portraits and Elegies (1982), The Lamplit Answer (1985), The Throne of Labdacus (2000): her three collections

> ‘Supernatural Love’: interweaves the parallel motives of physical pain and its definition in language

Annie Finch (b. 1956)

- began writing performance poetry influenced by the beat generation

- turned to New Formalism

> ‘Dickinson’, ‘A Reply from his Coy Mistress’

Richard Katrovas (b. 1953)

- author of raw lyrics sympathizing with loser types

> ‘Love Poem for an Enemy’: characteristically combines formally precise diction and vulgar expression

> ‘Elegy for My Mother’

Anne Carson (b. 1950)

- of Canadian origin

- educated in classical philology which she merges with topical cultural phenomena

- author of thought-provoking texts mingling philosophy, prose, essay, and creative translation

Základní údaje

  • Předmět

    North American Poetry 1945 - 2002.
  • Semestr

    Letní semestr 2008/09.
  • Vyučující

    Jiří Flajšar.
  • Status

    Volitelný seminář pro III. blok.


Flajšar, Jiří. Dějiny americké poezie. Ústí nad Orlicí: Oftis, 2006.

Jařab, Josef. American Poetry and Poets of Four Centuries. Praha: SPN, 1989.

Jařab, Josef, ed. Dítě na skleníku. Praha: Odeon, 1989.


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